Walk on the Wild Side with Fundy Spores!

Hello all!
Summer in Nova Scotia — what could be better? It’s time for us to get out there and see what kinds of fantastic fungi are popping up, providing food, habitat, medicine, and ecological regeneration in our nearby wild spaces.
For folks who live in and around Lunenburg, we’d love to have you come along for a mushroom walk this coming Sunday, August 26. We’ll be walking the Indian Path Common, starting at 1pm (please arrive at least a few minutes early so we can make sure the group is assembled and ready to go for 1).
We’ll meet at the trailhead at :
395 Fish Peddler Rd
Indian Path, NS
As our walks are intended to inspire & inform, we won’t be actively wildcrafting mushrooms on this outing; however, we do suggest you bring a camera or phone to take home pictures of the neat species we encounter! Some folks also like to have a notebook, magnifiying glass, or other observational tools with them. Please be sure to dress comfortably, and for the weather. Unless it’s an absolute torrential downpour that would make talking while walking impossible, we’ll still go!
To register, please contact us no later than Friday to arrange payment ($35 per person, kids under 13 welcome to attend at no extra cost, if supervised). Folks who will be in the Annapolis Royal area this week are also welcome to register in person at our table on Wednesday (10am-2pm) or Saturday (8am-1pm) at the Annapolis Royal Farmers & Traders Market.
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Market Season Begins Tomorrow!

Hey folks!

It’s finally time for the Summer 2018 Annapolis Royal Farmers and Traders Market to begin! Come by and stock up on your edible and health-promoting mushrooms and tinctures, grab a cup of hot chaga tea, and peruse our selection of mushroom art and zines.

Add mush love to your daily routine!

We’ll be in our regular spot, in the Market Square right by Sissiboo Coffee — look for the big black banner with our groovy logo (designed by fabulous artist LeyAnn Meau)

Due to the support of some very excellent people, we are expanding our operation this year and will have fresh mushrooms at the market regularly as soon as we can — a big shout out and THANKS! to those who have helped make that possible! Keep your eyes on the blog and/or sign up for our email list for announcements about the availability of new products.

Thanks also to Ordinary Family Food & Life for promoting our 2018 Community of ‘Spore’ters campaign in their monthly newsletter — if you believe like we do in good-quality food as a key part of the foundation for holistic wellness, make sure to check them out!

See you at the Market (every Saturday from now until October, 8am-1pm in Annapolis Royal).

P.S. If you’re a local maker, grower, artist, musician, etc, be sure to respond to this call out for participants: let’s have a Bear River Market this summer!

Don’t delay! The clock is ticking…

Hey everyone!

What a gorgeous day! Birds are cheepin’, the sun is shinin’, and we’re getting ever-closer to seeing spring mushrooms.

For those of you who’re hemming and hawing about joining our Community of ‘Spore’ters, you’ve only got 3 — that’s right count ’em — THREE days left to sign up and secure your sweet, sweet perks**. Including your very own Grow-Your-Own Shiitake log!

Wondering what we mean by ‘bigger and better than ever’? Check out this nice stack of locally-harvested maple logs — they’re 4-footers now, but when you’re ready to take one home, it’ll be cut down to a more manageable (and still quite hefty) 2-foot length. With so much wood available to the Shiitake mycelium, you can expect these logs to produce more mushrooms each flush, and last for several cycles!

So if you’re like us, and you want to experience the joys of cultivating your own log-grown, super healthful Shiitake mushrooms (not to mention saving money all summer long at the market, and getting to come out for a Walk on the Wild Side this autumn!) get on board before the train leaves the station on Monday (April 30) at Midnight!

[And if you’re not like us, and the idea of taking care of a Shiitake log isn’t your gig, don’t forget that our ‘Spore’ters have the option of swapping the GYO Mushroom log for a second ‘Walk on the Wild Side‘ or our ‘Save the Shipping’ option!]

To those of you who’ve already claimed your place, thanks so much! You’re helping make more nutritious, beneficial mushrooms available to the people in our shared community, and isn’t that just an amazing thing?

[Oh and if you’re lucky enough to have a living and loving parent, consider a ‘Spore’ters membership  for them — it might just be the cool and fun gift you’re gonna wish you thought of when Mothers’ and/or Fathers’ days roll around!]

**

Grow-Your-Own Shiitake Logs – Bigger & Better in 2018!

Greetings, Friends!

The wide fluctuations in temperature and frequent rains we’re experiencing are just the kind of conditions that can sometimes result in the spontaneous fruiting of shiitake mushrooms.

One of the world’s most popular edible mushrooms, Shiitakes have a significant place in the history of mycoculture by humans. Highly nutritious, and well-established as a health-promoting mushroom, shiitakes grown on a pre-innoculated log are a seasonal gift that keep on giving!

This year, as part of our operational expansion, we’re offering a new and improved version of our Grow-Your-Own Shiitake Mushroom Logs exclusively to our ‘Spore’ters. That’s right: as a mark of our great appreciation, ONLY folks who’ve joined up and supported our growth will have the opportunity to take one of these beauties home.

With a little care and patience, you can participate in the centuries-long tradition of harvesting and eating delicious homegrown Shiitakes. It’s an excellent way to deepen your relationship with the fungi in your world and to enjoy the experience of identifying, harvesting, and dining upon such a tasty mushroom !

Shiitakes are perfect for stir-fries, on the grill,  in seasonal mixed grains or risottos, or dried, powdered, and used as an amazing base for soups and gravies.

How does it work? (The Basics)
– This mushroom’s natural role in a forest’s ecology is as a decomposer of wood, participating in the process of returning trees to soil.
– We’ve introduced a culture of Shiitake to freshly-cut wood. The log is both the home and the food for the Shiitake, and the fungus establishes itself, growing through the log as it consumes it and breaks it down.
– When the mycelium (the main body of the fungus, living within the tree) encounters the right conditions, under the normal seasonal fluctuations of temperature and moisture, it will be triggered to produce mushrooms!

Things you might like to know about this year’s crop of Grow-Your-Own Shiitake Mushroom Logs:

How big are they?
– 2-foot long, approximately 8-inch wide rounds

What kind of wood?
– Locally-harvested (Digby County) maple

How do I care for it?
– Maintain the log in a humid area, sheltered from drying winds and sun; some dappled light is desirable. We recommend providing the log with extra water during the driest part of the summer by dunking it in a bucket of water for up to six hours, once every two weeks. If cracks appear in the ends of the log, like they do on firewood, definitely give it a good soaking.

When will mushrooms appear?
– As a living organism, the Shiitake needs to grow and mature before it gets to its reproductive stage. The vigorous strain we’ve selected should establish itself and grow through the log at a steady pace, eventually appearing as whitish discoloration on the cut ends of the logs. Although this process can go quickly, it is most likely that the log will fruit for the first time in either Spring or Autumn of 2019.

Like a perennial plant, a Grow-Your-Own Shiitake Mushroom log will undergo cycles of dormancy, mycelial growth, and fruiting: it can live in a corner of your garden for the next few years, sprouting delicious and beneficial mushrooms in harmony with the natural cycles of your local microclimate.

How do I get one?

Join our Community of ‘Spore’ters by clicking HERE to get all the relevant details, including a sign-up form and an outline of the other fabulous perks** available to our wonderful community of mushroom-loving, local-food promoting, ‘Spore’ters.

Special thanks to those who’ve already joined the Community of ‘Spore’ters! If you’re thinking about signing up (or giving a membership as a gift), don’t miss your chance — Contact Us before we close the program at end of April!

**’Walk on the Wild Side’ guided mushroom walks! Savings all year long on everything we sell and registration for all of our walks and workshops! Exclusive Mycomania Omnibus!)

So, you know how they say April fools…

Well, we were all psyched up to come see y’all at Seedy Saturday, and then we woke up to this:

 

And as much as we’d like to say “oh maybe it’s just a localized weather pattern”, or “it’ll improve throughout the day”…that’s the kind of thinking that led to this:

red truck after crash small for web

 

 

only a few short months ago.

So we decided not to risk being made fools.

We’re disappointed to be missing out on seeing all you folks out in Clare today — if anyone reading this has another event planned in the area this month that you think would be a good chance for us to connect with the community there, please get in touch!

Apologies for the late notice, the snow knocked out our internet in the middle of drafting this post. Aaarg.

If anyone was hoping to catch up with us to sign up as a ‘Spore’ter today, please drop us a line and we’ll be more than happy to make alternate arrangements to meet with you on a day more suited to driving.

Oh and if you’re reading this on F___book, it’s an automatic re-post from our homepage: to make sure we get your messages, please use the Contact Us page on our website!

Take care of yourselves, & we’ll see you soon!

— your friends at Fundy Spores

 

Spores & Seeds this Saturday!

Hey y’all!

First off, many thanks to those who’ve shared our announcement of Fundy Spores 2018 Community ‘Spore’ters Campaign**

Shiitakes on log

Gratuitous Shiitake close-up! 2018 ‘Spore’ters get to take a log home to love & cherish (& harvest!).
Oh and don’t squint — we’re calling this photo “artistically blurry”.

Just a quick post today to remind you to come check out the great activities and vendors at Seedy Saturday this weekend in Clare!

Where: Rendez-vous de la Baie, 23 chemin du phare, Pointe-de-l’Église (23 Lighthouse Road, Church Point — look for the red roof at the Université Sainte-Anne!)
When:  le samedi 7 Avril 2018 (Saturday April 7 2018)
What Time:  10h à 14h (10am-2pm)
Why Should I? Because sooner or later, you’re going to want to grow something! There’ll be garden-related talks en Français and in English, plus the always-super annual market where you can meet some Seed sellers and other local Food Producers / Artisans / Skill-sharers / Sources of Inspiration!

All for the low-low price of FREE.

And as if that’s not enough, you can see us again after a long winter! In addition to saying hi, this is your chance to:

Nourrissons nos âmes and partake in some springtime fun! See you on Saturday!

** Missed the big news? Read all about it HERE!

Big News from Fundy Spores!

Hi All!

It’s time for us to let you in on 2018’s exciting plans — like wild mycelium, we’re expanding!

Our home-grown Oyster and Shiitake  mushrooms have been fan favourites:  this year we’re looking to take production to the next level! In order to bring more fresh and delicious mushrooms to the weekly Annapolis Royal Farmers and Traders Market, we are growing our infrastructure and making other necessary improvements to our production methodology.

To achieve our goal, this month we are engaging our community (that’s you!) to find 50 “‘Spore’ters” who will each pledge $100 to our project in exchange for some excellent mushroom-related perks.

That’s right: from April 1-30 we are aiming to sign up 50 folks who can each claim a 24” Grow-Your-Own Shiitake Mushroom Log (a ‘Spore’ter exclusive for 2018!) and attend one of our ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ mushroom walks! Not only can you enjoy the experience of cultivating your own delicious (and highly beneficial) Shiitake mushrooms, and join us on a joyful excursion into a local wild area to make friends with the fungi, you’ll also Save 10% on all purchases from Fundy Spores in 2018!

But wait — there’s more! Check out the full details here (or download our Membership Package HERE) to get a full rundown of all the awesome benefits of being a Fundy Spores ‘Spore’ter!

Whether you’re in a position to become a ‘Spore’ter yourself, to give a membership as a gift, or are able to help us out by spreading the word about this campaign, we appreciate you as part of our growing community! Like you, we know it’s important to ‘shore up’ local food independence and believe in cherishing and protecting the wild spaces. Just as mushrooms disperse their spores, we can propagate these ideals; together, we’ll connect even more people to healthy local edible and other beneficial mushrooms!

How to become a Fundy Spores ‘Spore’ter, you ask? You’ll find the details on the ‘Community of ‘Spore’ters page, along with more info about the excellent benefits of joining this fantastic group of folks (Bonuses! Optional alternate perks for out-of-towners!). Still have questions? Contact Us — we’d be glad to hear from you.

Time is of the essence to claim your spot and secure your exclusive 2018 ‘Spore’ter perks —  thank you for helping us make our plans to grow a reality!

All the best,

– Patty & Lindsay
(the folks at Fundy Spores)

A special note: Social Media as we know it is in turmoil right now, and many people have been choosing to remove their accounts from Facebook or to restrict their activity on the site — if you have other means by which to share this posting, please do! We truly believe in ‘real world’, face-to-face organizing, and we’d greatly appreciate you telling your neighbours, friends, community groups (garden clubs, art collectives, health/support groups…), and other people in your lives about the benefits of being a ‘Spore’ter!

We were going to say ‘Happy Spring’ but…

Ever feel like winter’s never going to end? Like we’re going to have one Nor’easter after another until the snowpocolypse swallows us whole?

Here at Fundy Spores, we might just know a little about what that’s like (wink!). Thankfully, even on the iciest, windiest, snowiest days, we can take heart knowing that the mushroom mycelium is out there in the soil, nestled in the roots of trees and snoozing away in rotting logs, just waiting to burst forth with vigor and new growth!

Each spring, those little green beauties shooting up from under the snow are supported by their mycelial partners (mycorrhizae, soil fungi), which in turn share information and nutrients with other life forms in the incredible seasonal cycles of our ecosystems.

We’ll have some exciting news for you all in the coming days, and are looking forward to sharing the details with you soon. Keep your eyes on this space for a special announcement, and in the meantime, feast on these gorgeous mushroom photos: a sunny selection from past years’ mushrooming adventures!

(Keep hope alive folks, those flakes have got nothin’ on the fungi!)

Local Mushroom Medicine Endangered by Invasive Insect Species

Attention Reishi Appreciators: Local Mushroom Medicine Endangered by Invasive Insect Species

Hi Folks,

It’s with heavy hearts that we have to report that the Eastern Hemlock, home plant of our cherished Hemlock Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma tsugae), has been officially observed as infected by the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) in at least 5 counties in southern Nova Scotia.

We have been keeping our eyes on the spread of this insect throughout the Northeast Coastal forests, and consider it part of our mission to keep people in the loop about the vulnerability of our local medicine stands.

Due to the work by MTRI to educate the communities affected by this pest, which has been ravaging Hemlock groves throughout the Appalachian range for the last 25 years, we have felt it prudent to stay out of those stands where a great deal of our local reishi is found during the time of year when it is appropriate to be seeking and wildcrafting this important medicine.

We have been informed that the Bear River area is rife with this invasive species, which has devastating consequences for hemlocks (killing trees and multiplying at an extremely high rate), while some areas including Keji have yet to report sightings. Being that humans, their companion animals, and vehicles can be vectors for the HWA, our hearts cannot bear the weight of potentially contributing to the spread of such a damaging insect. As such, our supply of locally wildcrafted hemlock reishi may be interrupted.

Reishi is an extremely useful mushroom, and there are species types non-native to the region which will grow on trees other than Eastern Hemlock. While it continues to be part of our mission to highlight and demonstrate the power of local medicine, we cannot possibly consider the idea that it is a “good thing” there are more dead trees in which the reishi may grow due to such a serious environmental imbalance.

If you already using hemlock reishi growing on trees in your woodlot or local area, we do still encourage its use as part of your holistic health practice: however, please do educate yourself on how to identify the HWA and consider your movement through hemlock stands during the months of March-July, when the insects are mobile and can be easily transmitted.

Here at Fundy Spores, we are now looking to cultivate reishi in order to continue offering our popular reishi tinctures; be assured we will always be honest and up front about the source of our mushrooms, and will continue to refuse to buy and resell products made from mushrooms found/grown in and imported from other places. **

For more information on the HWA, attend an MTRI info session in your area and/or check out these links:

Tuesday, February 27th: North Queens Business Hub, Caledonia.

Wednesday, March 7th: New Germany Community Hall, New Germany.

Monday, March 12th: Brickton Community Hall, Brickton.

Thursday, March 21st: Bridgewater Legion, Bridgewater.

Please check http://www.merseytobeatic.ca to stay updated; call us at (902) 682-2371 or email info@merseytobeatic.ca.

Mark Whitmore, an American entomologist (Cornell University) at the forefront of HWA research, is offering a free webinar about this species on March 8 at 12 noon AST: http://www.emeraldashborer.info/eabu.php

** If you have observed the HWA in your woodlot or live in a known affected area, and are also aware of hemlock reishi growing there, we might be interested in negotiating a sustainable wildcrafting visit to your woods. Please contact us if you’re interested in working out this kind of arrangement!